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Vietnam puts high hopes on three SEZs

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Most special economic zones (SEZs) around the world have to experience at least one decade before gaining success.

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Vietnam needs to continue to obtain a high GDP growth rate this year. However, the natural and social resources to directly generate GDP and attract foreign investors are shrinking. 

Therefore, the country needs a driving force which gives a strong push to the economy to help it prosper. 

Management agencies believe that the three SEZs – Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc – will make things happen.

It is expected that from 2020, the three SEZs will make up billions of dollars to the local economies every year, and from 2030, the locals’ income per capita will reach $12,000-13,000. The SEZs will be special socio-economic units with open policies to encourage business and investment. 

Analysts commented that even if Van Don and Phu Quoc do not become SEZs, thanks to natural conditions, tourism will still be the No 1 priority in economic development for the two zones.

Analysts commented that even if Van Don and Phu Quoc do not become SEZs, thanks to natural conditions, tourism will still be the No 1 priority in economic development for the two zones.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, deputy chair of VAFI, said that if Van Don and Phu Quoc can provide entertainment services such as casinos, accept many different payment methods and offer attractive tax incentives for income from gambling, the number of travelers to the zones in the future will be three to four times higher than now.

Analysts hope that the success story of Da Nang, which was once a fishing village and seriously damaged in the war, and now has great success in tourism development, can be repeated in Van Don or Phu Quoc.

Van Don and Da Nang have SEZs with a small natural area of 600 square kilometers which prioritize ecotourism.

The most feasible scenario is that hi-tech conglomerates would set up offices in the two SEZs to be able to receive exceptional incentives in corporate income tax, personal income tax, land use rights, flexible payment rights and protection under international laws.

The priority development goals are a bit different for Bac Van Phong. It targets IT industry, electronics, precision engineering; seaport and international passengers; port logistics services; trade and finance. 

Analysts believe it is an ideal area for developing logistics services as there is one of the best deep-water seaports in the world. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s import/export turnover in 2016 alone was over $300 billion. 

However, they warned that if foreign conglomerates are the major investors in the field, Vietnamese will not get big benefits from the natural potential.

Bui Trinh, a renowned economist, noted that only super-rich businessmen have  opportunities to invest in the SEZs, because the required minimum investment capital for the projects in priority business fields is VND6 trillion.

Thanh Lich

Source: VietNamNet

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